Fashion Night Out Honors Icy Frantz & Stuart Weitzman
By Michelle Moskowitz
Serendipity magazine celebrated its 10th Annual Fashion Night Out last week at The Loading Dock, in Stamford. A charismatic crowd of over 400 guests were dressed for a fun, celebratory night of fashion, food and philanthropy.
Since the publications’ inception, Serendipity has shed a spotlight on beneficence and community through its myriad non-profit partnerships. Such events include Fashion Night Out, The Greenwich Wine and Food Festival and the Serendipity Golf Classic.
“We work with about 150 charitable organizations,” said Suni Unger, CEO and Founder of Serendipity. “Our core mission since the beginning has been philanthropy and tonight marks a really fun way to acknowledge those who give so much of themselves to their community and to charity.”
Upon arrival, guests mingled over specialty cocktails and browsed through a variety of pop-up boutiques provided by retailers such as Lord and Taylor, Chakarr Artisan Jewelry and Maison du Alexandre, featuring luxe boar bristle brushes.
Guests then united into a brightly lit event room which was transformed into a New York City catwalk — ready for the evenings fashion clad, philanthropic models to strut the runway and raise money for the organizations they are each committed to.
Unger gracefully introduced the two special honorees of the night, including Greenwich Sentinel columnist and community figure, Icy Frantz, and shoe icon and devoted philanthropist Stuart Weitzman – both Greenwich residents.
Frantz is the co-chair of the Board for Arch Street, the Greenwich Teen Center – the longest running non-profit, privately funded teen center in the country.
Over the past 30 years, Arch Street has been committed to providing the community’s youth a safe, welcoming environment where kids can connect with their peers and engage in positive social interactions – through its robust programming and social events.
Frantz articulated each of the center’s core programs including regular weekend socials and dances, Andrew’s studio where kids can record their own music, almost daily yoga and exercise classes (free of charge), a Teen Board that meets weekly to plan and organize events and give back to the community, a roster of educational programs for teens and parents covering critical topics such as bullying, vaping and stress and so much more.
“We work with teens and that can be wonderful, messy and hard. It can be frustrating, enlightening and emotional,” said Frantz, with conviction and tenderness at the same time. “Some teens navigate the proverbial runway gracefully; others stumble, and, in those instances, Arch street has been there to catch. Perhaps its conversations that I’ve had with parents of those teens that make me the proudest of Arch Street.”
“Parents have told me their kids were lost in the school system but found a home for them at Arch Street,” said Frantz. “The good work that finds its way through can be life-changing.”
Arch Street is now also home to the new Greenwich Theater Company which will run its next show in early March.
Frantz has many other accomplishments under her humanitarian belt. She created a substance abuse prevention program that she taught at Greenwich Academy, as well as an early intervention program in New York City. Currently, Frantz is also in her first term of the RTM and, in April, will launch a new website, The Icing on the Cake.
Resident Stuart Weitzman is a revered shoe icon, having built a successful empire that has lasted for decades and will continue to do so. But while most people know Weitzman for his beautiful designs, he has also been a devoted philanthropist; and a longtime supporter of Boston Children’s Hospital among many other organizations. Weitzman lectures at universities across the country not just on fashion and his magic on creativity but rather on the importance of paying it forward.
“You help people if you involve yourself. There is tremendous satisfaction and pleasure by giving back,” said Weitzman through a gleeful smile. “Over the last 30 years I got more pleasure in seeing kids smile than I did from my first shoe order from Bergdorf Goodman.”
The glamourous models representing 13 various charities were then introduced and hit the runway in stride. Models were comprised of women, men and children — all chosen for their philanthropic endeavors that help strengthen and support community and those in need.
Models included Sarah Pribyl for Greenwich Land Trust; Chris Battle for Sound Beach Volunteer Fire Company; and Lindsay Grimes for Family Centers. Mini models such as Mikayla and Olivia Hirsch, Sasha Ratner and Lily Breitfelder strutted the carpet with contagious wide smiles. The applause for each model roared as much for their stylish looks as for the pride that each wore for their work in making an impact.
TikTok sensation Nikko Zingus strutted the catwalk on behalf of Arch Street and garnered a loud applause thanks to the younger fanfare in the audience. Zingus recently participated in the uber successful Arch Street event, Mistle Tok Meet & Greet – a two-day event that sold out within 10 minutes.
Fairfield’s altruists donned the latest styles from Elie Tahari, Ally B., Trina Turk with many adorned Stuart Weitzman selections. Model coifs and make-up was styled to perfection by Maison D’Alexandre.
After the show, guests were able to partake in a wide variety bubbles, select wines, and tequilas and mingled and nibbled on savory bites from Amis Trattoria, Green & Tonic and Bridgewater Chocolate. Throughout the night crowd pleaser DJ Larken kept the tunes upbeat and celebratory and, as the night went on, drew a crowd of dancers.
A gourmet highlight of the evening was Geoff Lazlo Food, a boutique food company which served guests Fried Oyster Po’boy sliders with cabbage slaw and spicy aioli. Through his new venture, Chef Lazlo, Connecticut Magazine’s “Best Chef in 2018,” provides specialty catering for in-home cocktail and dinner parties, at home meal delivery and subscription services as well as cooking classes and hospitality consulting.
At the end of the night, guests received gift bags filled with the latest copy of Serendipity, beauty items provided by Lancome, and much more. At the coat check, guests were offered gourmet glazed doughnuts for their ride home.
A portion of the ticket proceeds will go to the various charities.
Other featured charities included the American Cancer Society, Greenwich Hospital and Filling in The Blanks which fights childhood hunger by providing children in need with meals on the weekends.
Visit serendiptysocial.com for more information.